Nigeria striker Taiwo Awoniyi scored a late winner to give Union Berlin a 3-2 win against VfL Bochum in the Bundesliga on Saturday. His second goal of the game sent the entire Stadion an der Alten Försterei into rapturous frenzy as fans invaded the pitch afterwards in celebration.
His 15th goal of the league campaign sent the Irons into fifth spot ahead of Freiburg, and gave them a spot in the Europa League group stages next season. For a club that only got promoted into the Bundesliga in 2019-2020, it was an impressive finish to their campaign.
After the game, fans gathered in front of the club house to celebrate the feat of the players, with many singing the praise of their Nigerian star.
Awoniyi’s year has been incredible. He is the record scorer for the club in the top division and now has fully become a cult hero here in Berlin’s Köpenicke District where the club is domiciled.
His face may not be known by every Berliner in the same way that a Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi would be anywhere in their city of residence, but he is carving out for himself a legacy in Germany’s capital city with one of the metropolis’ smaller clubs. The bigger club Hertha is struggling to remain in the top division as they face relegation play-offs.
If Awoniyi stays longer at the club, he could truly transform himself into a city legend. But as Soccernet reported that he is courting interest from some Premier League clubs, he may have played his final game for the Eisernen.
Whatever happens in the off-season, the 24-year-old Nigerian has laid a marker in this city and will be remembered by the members of this club for a long, long time. Under the tutelage of Urs Fischer, Awoniyi has made them dare to go where they have never dreamed.
He has become a Berliner legend.